I have a confession to make…

So this week was my first week back after my long break- a break which was much needed and I was glad I took.

But I have to admit after such a while away from writing I was seriously nervous about getting back to actual writing.

At the beginning of the week I wasn’t even been able to look at the manuscript I’d been working on before Christmas.

Why?

I have no idea 😀

I was just really nervous about starting writing again. I’m sure a lot of it was to do with the fact I had such a long break, in which I only did tiny bits of writing here and there, all of which had nothing to do with the story I’m currently working on.

The thing is, it wasn’t even as though I had to start from a blank page. I am nearly finished with my current manuscript, it’s just the last few chapters that need doing, and I know exactly how they are going to go.

But mid-week, I pushed myself past the irrational worry of writing again and got out the folder with all my plans and inspiration sheets.

Well, it was an almost instant reaction.

I flicked through my chapter plans, my character sheets, my pictures and BAM! The excitement flooded back to me!

That intense excitement and passion that came flooding back to me in that moment drowned out any worry I had about writing after such a long break, and I opened up my manuscript and got straight back to it!

And it has been so good getting back to it! I forgot how much I need to write 😀 It was instant relief, and I got so into it I looked up at my clock a while after and three and a half hours had whipped by without me noticing!

Next week I will go back to having my status reports beneath my posts, as they always helped me keep focus and see if I was achieving my goals. My daily word count target during weekdays will still be 2000 words, and as with last year I will be taking weekends off.

So here’s to another great year of writing for us all!

Have you ever had trouble getting back into writing? How do you get your writing skills back into shape? Have you set yourself any daily word count goals?

*This is a scheduled post and I will be back on Monday to reply to comments and emails. Have a great weekend!*

On to 2015!

So, here we are- The beginning of a fresh New Year.

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and a great start to 2015 🙂

I thought about doing a round up post for 2014, but when I look back on it I was pretty overwhelmed. Not only did I achieve so much that I’m proud of, but I met so many incredible new friends and authors!

In December I did sit down and think about where I was heading in 2015, and how I was going to get there. 2014 was great, but I will admit I was all over the place. It was my first year at writing, blogging, publishing, reviewing, etc!

This time around I feel a little calmer and organised about it all 😀 I have a good plan going forwards.

Last year I got caught up in trying everything and, though it was great to learn so much, I need a more streamlined approach going forwards.

I have a new blogging schedule planned, a better timetable for publishing my books, ideas for improving my writing, but the main thing that caught me last year and gave me unbelievable amounts of stress…

Marketing.

Ah, yes. Marketing.

It really was a hate/hate relationship. I didn’t like doing it, you guys don’t like reading or seeing it 😀

So, this year, I have decided to take a different strategy for it. I realise it has to be done, but why should it give me such intense grief as it did last year? So, I have a much better plan in store for that, which involves focusing much more on reviews and visual marketing, trying to make it more fun rather than a chore.

Before this turns into an essay, I will just say that I am back and raring to go for 2015! I think it’s going to be an excellent year for us all!

I am gradually catching up with everyone’s blogs, which I have missed reading 🙂

So, whilst I catch up and try to get back into the routine, I hope you all have a fantastic start to the New Year and have already made great progress!

How was Christmas? Did you have a good start to the New Year?

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovechatwrite

RW Banner

It’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from Susan Scott Shelley then welcome! 🙂

This week we were given a sentence starter and had to finish it.

This year I am thankful for… the support I’ve received.

It’s amazing to think I started this blog and writing journey at the beginning of this year. So much has happened and time has flown by, I look back and am amazed at what’s been achieved!

But I also know it’s been such a great experience due to the unwavering support I’ve had from my family, friends, and from the amazing bloggers and writers I have met over this past year.

When I started this blog, I was really nervous, as you hear not such great things about what the internet can be like. But instead when I joined the writing and blogging community, I found an amazing group of people who were all supportive of one another and incredibly generous with their time and advice.

So yes, I am thankful for the support I’ve received and to all those who have helped me come so far in such a short amount of time. I will be forever grateful, thank you 🙂

Now why not go check out what Leslie Hachtel is thankful for!

Also, don’t forget to check out this month’s Romance Weekly Giveaway!

What are you thankful for this year?

Surprising Discoveries…

As I’ve been writing whatever I want lately, I’ve realised something about what I choose to write.

Apparently it’s either romantic, fluffy scenes or… full on fight scenes 😀

It was a bit of a surprise to discover just how much I enjoy writing battle scenes and fight scenes, yet also to find the other thing I adore writing was the sweet romantic moments.

The two couldn’t be more different and require very different skill sets when writing, but there you go, it was the thing I have noticed about my writing lately.

I write romance all the time in my books, and some do involve fight scenes as well, but I make sure to keep them at a minimum. But when left to my own devices to just write what I like, the small fight scenes I start can turn into epic battles!

Still, it’s all writing practice, right? And that’s the main thing I’m going for over the next couple of months 🙂

Have you discovered anything unusual about what you like to write? Are there particular scenes you enjoy writing more than others?

Yay for Friday!

Hey everyone, this week has felt like it has dragged really badly, so I’m thankful we finally reached Friday! 😀

Just a quick post today.

I had an awesome interview over Lit World Interviews, by RonovanWrites, why not go check it out? 🙂

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/mishka-jenkins-interview-prophecy-of-stones/

Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will try to be around more next week! 😀

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

RW Banner

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from Veronica Forand, then welcome! 🙂

This week the questions focus on characters.

1. How much free reign do you give your characters during a story?

I give them pretty much completely free reign. Although I love to have a plan, some of the best things can come from the unexpected moments when your character’s take the story out of your hands!

2. Have your characters ever done something so out of the blue that not only changed your story, but changed the tone and maybe even the genre you were originally going for? (Like your contemporary romance turned into a spicy paranormal)

I’ve had some characters do some things that were completely out of the blue, but I don’t think it’s ever changed the tone or genre. Though, it could still happen 😀

3. Do you have one character in your head that is sort of boss over all the rest? Or do you decide who to work on and when?

On my current WIP, I have a group of characters and I do have to say I’m pretty good at managing to spend time on each. Out of the group, there are three who are the strongest and the main focus, so obviously they get more time, but I do have a character with a smaller role who just loves to push his way into focus every time there’s a scene! 😀

Now why not go check out what Victoria Barbour has to say in response to these!

How would you answer these questions? Do you give your characters free reign to do as they wish when you write, or do you like to stick to a plan?

Blind Desire

This is a random piece I wrote based on this prompt- http://www.pinterest.com/pin/385268943097186761/.

It was only going to be a scene description and it turned into something more 😀 My writing exercises tend to have a habit of doing that! Anyway, this is an unedited piece of writing done for fun! Hope you enjoy.

Blind Desire.

A dirt trodden aisle ran between the centre of the stalls, the owners peddling their wares of bright woollen sweaters. Other smaller goods cascaded down on ropes from the cloth roofs covering the stalls, swaying in the breeze that the grey clouds above brought with them.

But there was only one thing Cassie was searching for in the mess of tables and crowds, her gaze flicking from side to side in the hope of catching a glimpse of what she’d come to collect. It was close.

She could feel it.

Her heart hammered in her chest as she took a step forwards and she froze. Whipping around to her left, she elbowed a browser out of the way, the woman sneering but eventually shuffled away muttering curses under her breath.

How long had she been searching for it, Cassie couldn’t remember. And now it was right before her it felt like a dream, her body shivered and she clenched her hands into fists to stop the shaking. A light drizzle of rain laced across her skin and dampened her hair, but she didn’t feel it; staring at the object before her had already made her numb.

“You interested?” the stall owner asked, obviously sensing a potential sale, and he shifted his bulk closer, his moustache twitching above his thin lips.

Cassie didn’t glance up. “Very.”

“Well, I’m sure we can work out a reasonable price…” He spread his hands out before him.

Now she flicked her eyes up to meet his, a long smile breaking her stern expression. “No, you don’t understand,” she said, the smile making the man fidget, “I’m not interested in purchasing it.”

The man stuttered to respond, but his lips snapped shut before he got the chance. Cassie waved her hand in an arc before his face and his eyes, once a dull hazel, turned white. Whilst the stall owner rubbed blindly at his eyes, Cassie slid the item off the corner of the wooden table, it dropping silently into her jacket pocket. She patted at the weight of it now concealed in her coat and turned to walk away, the man’s panic now bursting forth in a wail of fear.

As the crowd rushed towards the table, Cassie weaved between them and out into the open, disappearing into the fingers of fog that began to grip at the market.

Bit random I know, but still, every bit of writing is practice, right? 😀

How’s everyone doing on their writing? How are those in NaNo progressing?

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

October 2014 Round-Up and November 2014 Plan

October was certainly an interesting month. I spent most of it trying to figure out my new schedule of less social media and more writing.

I did OK to start with, but then I found my hours creeping up again on social media. I am certainly going to have to be stricter with myself.

October:

– Didn’t exactly keep to schedule. Got most things done on time, but not others.
– Started my new Books on my Bookshelf series.
– Got my first reviews for The Magic Spark.
– Didn’t meet my reading target. Though I was only off by about half a book 😀 Forbidden Quest by Alaina Stanford, Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah, and Hands of Evil by Melissa Barker-Simpson.
– Attempted to cut my social media right down and concentrate on the writing. Started well, but hasn’t been so successful towards the end of the month.
– I did some marketing using photosets, but still not enough.
– Managed to connect with bloggers regularly, and share their posts and news on Twitter and FB more consistently.
– I didn’t manage to sort out my Pinterest boards.

November:

It’s all change for November yet again to what I intended last time.

Unfortunately, there will be no Christmas novella. As much as I want to write it, I am just not in a place to do so at the moment. There is a lot of upheaval at home and things moving around, which will eventually result in a writing space of my own. But until then, I don’t really have anywhere that I can go to focus on writing.

I am one of those writers who needs quiet and peace to write 😀 And I just can’t get that at the moment, and my writing is suffering for it. I don’t want to put out a book that is less than my best, so I’ve decided to wait (though I will probably do the Christmas novella for next year because the characters and plots are just too awesome to forget!).

Instead this months goal is: To write 500 words a day.

Doesn’t matter what it is- short fiction, long fiction, fanfiction, poetry, as long as it’s something. I may not have the space to concentrate on a full book, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop writing altogether, I love it too much to do that 😀

November will be about writing practice, which is just as important as anything else! But it will also give me more time to help at home and eventually get this writing space up together, which I am VERY excited about 🙂

As for reading this month, I plan to read three books: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes, Asunder by David Gaider (re-read that one, as I’ve read it before!), and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients by Rod Raglin (for review group). Those are the only ones that I will definitely be reading, and any extra will be a bonus 😀

That means no reviews except my review group one this month, and none in December either. My normal reading and reviews will resume in January 2015 (a scary thought to think that’s not so far away!).

So, there you have it. This post was a lot longer than intended, sorry!

**TL;DR – No Christmas novella due to a lot of stuff going on. Tons of writing practice instead this month! Back to book writing in the New Year.**

Other things that happened around the writing/blogging community this month:

Callum McLaughlin released his new book, False Awakening!

Topaz Winters has a beautiful new look to her site.

EclecticAlli has been hosting a brilliant set of posts for her Masquerade Ball Blog Party.

Natacha Guyot announced an exciting new project she’s working on!

Island of Glass by Ruth Nestvold is at a lowered price until Mid-November!

My Creative Flows blog had a great post on tips for those participating in NaNo and how to get through it! 😀

Oh, also, to all those actually participating in NaNoWriMo this month- Good Luck! 😀

How did your October go? Do you have many plans for November?

It’s Worth The Struggle…

I have a couple of links this week that really inspired me.

I think all writers, especially new ones, go through that down time of not progressing fast enough or not being where they want to be. It’s inevitable and can sometimes stop a person writing, but these posts really gave me a boost in confidence and motivation; to remember my dream and, even though it’s hard, it’s worth all the struggle to fight for!

They reminded me to write for the love of it, to work towards where I want to be, and not focus on the negative!

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/build-your-writing-career/#more-4734

http://callummclaughlin.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/never-give-up/

Hope you enjoy them too!

Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

Do you have any advice or tips? Have you ever felt a bit negative about where your headed in your writing? How did you deal with it?

It’s time!

I find myself at a point in my book that is both thrilling and slightly nerve-wracking.

As I’ve said, I’ve had this series in my mind for a while, and there is one scene particularly that has always been certain and always the same.

I have come to the point in my book to write that scene; a scene that has been in my head for a couple of years.

It’s a pretty intense scene, emotionally and physically.

Yes, this is just the first draft, and yes, I can sort it out later if it’s not perfect. But for some reason I have this feeling that I have to get it right first time, because it’s the pivotal scene in this first book of the series.

I mean, thinking on it for two years I should be able to knock it out in no time, but when I came to write all I did was just stared at the screen!

But it’s time to just do it, and today is the day!

I am going to write it, it’s going to be awesome, and this scene can finally leave my head and hit the page!

Have you guys ever had a scene you’re hesitant about writing? Have you ever come to write a scene you’ve been thinking of for some time? How do you approach writing such intense scenes?

Have a great weekend everyone!